There’s little that can be added these days to the many articles written about Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté or or to the analysis from one of the many pundits incapable of saying a bad thing about the French midfielder.
On course to winning a second Premier League with his second team in his second season in England, there is little doubt the 25-year-old is a talented footballer, and Frank Lampard even went as far as saying he was the ‘best midfielder in the world’.
This, however, did not go down particularly well with Burnley’s Joey Barton.
That isn’t to say the Clarets’ midfielder think he should hold that title, far from it, but having played against the Chelsea midfielder recently, the former Manchester City man explained to Le Journal du Dimanche in France that Kanté wasn’t all that.
He said: “At the moment, in England, people only swear by N’Golo Kanté. It’s the fashion. For pundits, he’s the best midfielder in the world. Oh! He’s very good, but I played against him three weeks ago, and that’s not the case. He’s a fantastic destroyer in a phenomenal team, but not a creator.
“And it’s impossible to be so definitive with a player who hasn’t played a game of Champions League. Two years ago, no one knew him, and I’m surprised that all of the scouts had missed him before. I’m of a skeptical nature.”
Saying similar things about Dimitri Payet, who surprised him by having a great season at West Ham due to his inconsistent spells in France beforehand, the Burnley midfielder rates Nicolas Anelka as the best “Frenchie” he’s ever played with, during their time together in Manchester.
Back in the Premier League for a second spell at Turf Moor until the end of the season, Barton has made 13 appearances for the Clarets this season, scoring one goal and picking up six yellow cards.